The New Scrooge

AN: Pleases forgive me for the fluff. Oh, BTW, it seems I was mistaken earlier. Mslcat did a Hellsing\Christmas Carol story over a year before Jean Thine. Of course, they both did Integra, not Alucard.

4:00 AM; December 25, 2030

When Alucard exited the final portal, he found himself in a strange and unfamiliar situation. He wanted to do something nice, to try to find a way to make up for his earlier outburst; but the No-Life King was at a loss. It was the first time in centuries that he felt the need to do something nice, and the instinctive impulses, so common in humans, were long dead to the ancient vampire.

So rather than instantly throwing his nonexistent window open and asking a passing child to buy a giant turkey, like Scrooge had in the story, Alucard sat down on his closed coffin lid and brought his hand up to stroke his chin. This was not easy. He could just go apologize. No, that just wasn't his style. Besides, words were cheep. He needed to do something, but what?

It was then that the ancient vampire thought of all the work his fledgling must've put into the decorations, the decorations he had destroyed in a fit of anger. She wanted a 'merry' Christmas. She'd even commented on it when the Judas Priest had shown Alucard the 'present'. Well, if his fledgling wanted a merry Christmas, he'd give her just that. It was early Christmas morning, but in a city as big as London, there were bound to be a few shops still open. Alucard stood up from his coffin and teleported himself into a dark alley in the middle of the city.

Then the vampire began to search for a still opened store. The first one he saw was a rather gruff looking 'pawnshop'. At first Alucard huffed and dismissed the shop. They would have nothing that would interest his fledgling. But then the ancient vampire remembered one very important fact... He was broke. His master saw to it that all his needs, and a number of his comforts were met; but he received no actual paycheck. The No-Life King had no way to pay for the things he needed.

Alucard turned back to the pawnshop and sighed. Well, there was one way. He teleported himself back to his chamber, opened up his coffin, pulled up a small section of padding and retrieved a jewel encrusted dagger.

The weapon had been a gift to his Mihnea, one of the last that Vlad could give the boy. He'd run by it again during one of his WWII missions and stolen it from a Nazi general's private collection. The theft was an unauthorized use of the vampire's powers, but it was one of the rare circumstances when he really didn't care. He was not about to let his gift to his son remain in the possession of a Nazi son of a bitch.

Alucard had caught some serious flak from Arthur upon the vampire's return, but his one time master did allow him to keep the dagger. Now the vampire stood inside the pawnshop, about to part with the ancient knife again. But it had started out as a gift for someone he loved; and now it would fetch him the money he needed to buy another gift, one for someone he'd only recently discovered he loved.

Four hundred pounds, that was all the pawnshop owner offered the vampire. Alucard knew the dagger was worth considerably more than that, but he needed the money... fast. So, the vampire was about to grudgingly accept the offer; but then a piece of jewelry caught his eye. It was an elegant but tasteful cross necklace.

Alucard eyed the thing for a moment. It looked like something his fledgling would like, but there could be a problem. "This isn't silver?"

The shopkeeper looked over to the cross that his customer was eying. "Nah, white gold. Ya want it? I could let it go for... say a hundred and fifty pounds."

Alucard turned to the shopkeeper. "The cross and three hundred pounds for the dagger."

The shopkeeper eyed the vampire for a moment. "Er, I'll go as high as two seventy-five... but only cause it's Christmas."

Alucard chuckled slightly. The dagger was still worth more than he was getting for it. Well... maybe not. If he was getting his fledgling's happiness and forgiveness, it was a fair trade. "Deal."

So the items and money were exchanged. The shopkeeper wished the vampire a "Merry Christmas." And, after hesitating for a moment, Alucard bid the man the same. Then the vampire left the pawn shop and continued his shopping.

An hour later, he returned to the mansion and cracked the door to the room his master was recovering in. She was still asleep, so Alucard opened the door fully and walked in. Between his speed and shape shifting capabilities, Alucard was a much faster decorator than his fledgling; but still the first rays of sunlight were starting to shine through the room's glass windows as he placed the wrapped necklace beneath the Christmas tree that was in the room's far corner.

Having finished his work, Alucard stood back for a moment and examined the room. Pleased with its appearance, the ancient vampire left to go get his fledgling. He walked down the hallway, descended the staircase, came to her room and was about to walk through her wall; but then he stopped, thought for a moment and knocked instead.

A minute later, Seras, clad in her nightgown, opened the door as she stifled a yawn. As soon as the girl saw her master, a confused look passed over her face. "M-master? You knocked. B-but you never knock."

"Come with me, Seras. There is something I want to show you."

Seras thought the whole thing was a little strange, her master interrupting her right before bed, wanting to 'show her' something and... and calling her by her name, not to mention knocking. But still she followed him. She followed him back up the stairs, down the hallway, into the medical wing and right up to the door of Integra's temporary quarters. But then, the fledgling stopped. "Master, please. I'm sorry. I already feel bad enough. Please, I..."

"Police Girl, what are you babbling about?" Alucard asked as he opened the door.

Seras didn't answer. She could not. Her mind was too shocked by the sight before her. The entire room was decorated in red and green and colorful lights. Here and there were scattered wreaths. And in the corner was a Christmas tree, a real Christmas tree, not one of the fake ones like she'd been forced to put up.

Alucard turned to his fledgling. "Well?" He asked, a bit more forcefully than he'd intended. Then he continued in a more 'appropriate' tone, "Do you like it?"

"I... You... But... This is..."

Alucard chuckled at his fledgling's stammering; it was all the answer he needed. Then the ancient vampire took his fledgling's hand and led her into the room. "I've got another surprise for you." He led her over to the tree and gave her the gift beneath it.

Seras eyed the present. "What is this?"

"Well... why don't you open it and find out?" Alucard replied with just the slightest hint of condescension in his voice.

Seras let out a quick, nervous giggle then unwrapped the present. "Oh, Master!"

"You like it, right?"

Seras smiled up at her master. "Very much." She took the cross necklace out and hung it about her neck. Then looked further up. "Look, Master, we're standing under the mistletoe!"

Alucard looked up at the green thing above their heads. "Actually, that's hol..." He was cut off by his fledgling floating up and capturing him in a deep kiss.

It was then that a voice spoke up, "Come on, you two. If you're going to do that kind of stuff, at least have the decency to leave my room first."

The two vampires broke their kiss, and Seras looked over at Integra. "Sorry, Sir." She offered up a sheepish apology, but then perked back up. "But look at what Master gave me!" Seras ran over to show Integra the gift.

The aging knight eyed the piece of jewelry for a moment. "Yes, it's quite nice." She replied with all the patience of a mother addressing her child, then she turned to her servant. "But I can't help but wonder just what's gotten into you."

Alucard looked back at his master. "Oh, I guess I just found the Christmas spirit." The vampire chuckled. "Three of them, actually."

"Yeah, r-i-g-h-t." Integra replied then sat up and looked out her window.

Alucard walked over next to his fledgling and stared out the same window as his master. "Master, what are you looking at?"

"Oh, I'm just waiting for the sky to fall, pigs to start flying, hell to freeze over, and Christ to return. It should be quite a show."

"Master, really. That's unfair." Surprisingly Alucard sounded just the tiniest bit hurt. "I'm just trying to make Christmas special this year."

Integra turned back to her servant. "Ahuh." She replied, obviously not convinced of his sincerity.

In response Alucard held up a DVD. "Look. I even got us a Christmas movie to watch."

Seras leaned in, took Integra's hand and pleaded, "Oh, please, Sir, may we."

Integra looked into Seras's big, blue eyes and sighed. "Fine."

Seras threw her arms around Integra and hugged her tightly. "Oh, thank you."

Alucard walked over to the room's combination TV/DVD player, turned it on then loaded the DVD into the tray. "Don't worry, Master. You'll like this."

Three minutes later, Alucard quickly shadow shifted over to the TV and turned it off. Then he turned to the two women. Seras was blushing profusely, and Integra was outraged. Alucard's face fell into a near sheepish expression. "Really I didn't know. I thought it meant 'A *Happy* Christmas'. You know, 'Don we now our *gay* apparel. Fa la la la la la la la la.'"

Integra's anger seemed to fade away, and the aging knight shook her head. "Alucard, only you would think that 'gay' still meant happy." She let out a half laugh then reached over and retrieved her Bible from the nightstand. She turned to the two vampires. "Come closer, I don't really feel like yelling this."

Seras and Alucard both pulled chairs over to the Hellsing's bed and sat down. Integra waited a moment to insure that they were properly settled. Then she opened her Bible and turned to the same passage her father used to read to her each Christmas morning. Integra cleared her throat and began, "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

"Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child; and so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

"Now, there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them. Then were they sore afraid. But the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' Then, suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'

"And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, 'Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.'

"And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. Then all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds."

By the time Integra finished, Seras's need for sleep had finally gotten the best of her; and the young vampire slept with her head resting lightly on her master's chest. As Alucard stroked the strawberry-blond hair he noticed a half smile tugging at the corner of his master's lips. The ancient vampire carefully maneuvered his other arm behind Integra's neck; and after a brief moment of surprise, the aging knight relaxed against her servant's strong embrace.

The No-Life King seemed to be enjoying being in between his fledgling and master. A genuine smile spread across his face. Then Alucard understood why Mina had compared him to Job. The ancient vampire chuckled slightly, looked up and mouthed a silent 'thank you'.

Somewhere up above, Alucard's three ghosts of Christmas looked down at the scene. Mina used her arm to nudge Anderson in the side. "See, I told you there was still some good left in him."

The deceased paladin looked over at the raven haired woman and smiled coyly. "Maybe, Lass. But let's wait until we see if Walter's lost dat chain, before we go declaring ye de winner. Find out if de dog will return to his vomit." The paladin laughed. Mina rolled her eyes, and the Captain just started to walk away.

(Well, I hope you all enjoyed the final chapter, and that you didn't mind the change in Alucard's personality. It's something that just had to be done. 'Scrooge' is never the same at the end. LoL. Please review and let me know what you think. Thanks.

Merry Christmas; and God bless us, everyone.

Metropolis Kid.)

(To JUANIS: Thanks for the review, I'm glad you enjoyed the last chapter. Yes, he finally gets it. LoL.)